Tweets2Stance: Users stance detection exploiting Zero-Shot Learning Algorithms on Tweets
In the last years there has been a growing attention towards predicting the political orientation of active social media users, being this of great help to study political forecasts, opinion dynamics modeling and users polarization. Existing approaches, mainly targeting Twitter users, rely on content-based analysis or are based on a mixture of content, network and communication analysis. The recent research perspective exploits the fact that a user's political affinity mainly depends on his/her
... positions on major political and social issues, thus shifting the focus on detecting the stance of users through user-generated content shared on social networks. The work herein described focuses on a completely unsupervised stance detection framework that predicts the user's stance about specific social-political statements by exploiting content-based analysis of its Twitter timeline. The ground-truth user's stance may come from Voting Advice Applications, online tools that help citizens to identify their political leanings by comparing their political preferences with party political stances. Starting from the knowledge of the agreement level of six parties on 20 different statements, the objective of the study is to predict the stance of a Party p in regard to each statement s exploiting what the Twitter Party account wrote on Twitter. To this end we propose Tweets2Stance (T2S), a novel and totally unsupervised stance detector framework which relies on the zero-shot learning technique to quickly and accurately operate on non-labeled data. Interestingly, T2S can be applied to any social media user for any context of interest, not limited to the political one. Results obtained from multiple experiments show that, although the general maximum F1 value is 0.4, T2S can correctly predict the stance with a general minimum MAE of 1.13, which is a great achievement considering the task complexity.